Pallet racks are the stands where pallets can be stored. Each rack can effectively hold hundreds of pallets, depending on the size. Pallet racks are excellent for managing space within the warehouse or a store. Pallet rack systems are of many kinds: light/heavy duty, open/closed tubes, selective pallet rack systems, etc.
Pallet rack systems can be designed as per user requirements. Customers need to take strength, safety, and value into concern. These days, pallet racks are being subjected to strict quality norms. Hence, they have to be reliable even under extreme conditions.
Designing of pallet rack systems is very complex. With advanced handling equipment, like very narrow aisle turret truck and high bay elevations, rack systems have very stringent tolerances. Additionally, the kinds of racks have also increased: pushback pallet racks, selective pallet racks, pallet flow rack, reel rack, double-deep selective, carpet rack, seismic rack, bolt connection rack, boat rack, empty pallet storage racks, mezzanine rack, custom/combination rack, die storage rack, structural rack, drive-in pallet racks, and drive-through pallet racks. This has made designing pallet racks all the more difficult. Another aspect is that these days it is mandatory for the systems to be resistant to seismic activity. However, not all pallet rack systems need to comply with this requirement.
The main aspects to consider while designing pallet rack systems are the operational requirements like storage density, ease of operation while accessing the pallets, retrieval requirements, and so on. The kind of construction is also important. Choice can be made between hot-rolled structural steel and cold-roll formed kinds. The hot-rolled structural steel kind of systems is more robust and resistant to damage from lift truck impact, but it is also more expensive.
Most rack failures are attributed to overloading, lift truck damages, or badly engineered systems. It is very important that the load should not cause too much deflection of the beam. There are many other technologies that can be adopted for greater safety from the pallet rack systems like fire baffles or in-rack fire suppression. Manufacturers would be able to determine the exact kind of pallet rack systems needed by analyzing the requirements.